Monday, 8 September 2014

Approaching the Guru

HARI  OM  

Practical steps  to spirituality- section 7 part 4 

The  Gita  revisited  

Approaching  the  Guru  

                           Is  a  Guru  needed  ?  Only  a  Guru  can  remove  our  ignorance  by  imparting  knowledge  of  the  Self. . The  Guru  should  be  a  '  Shrotriya  Brahma  Nishta  " . It  is  said  that  a  Guru  appears   to  fulfill  the  sincere seeker's  thirst  for  knowledge. Only  a  qualified  shishya  can  gain  Self- knowledge  which  is  subtle    and  therefore  this  knowledge  has  to  be  imparted  by  a competent  Guru   to  a  competent   student , who is  fit  to  receive  this  knowledge. . A  student  should  approach  the  Guru  with  the  following  right attitude. 

                      Pranipatena  is  the  first  thing a  student  should  do  on  approaching  a  Guru. . He  falls  at  the  feet  of  the  master  (  dandavat)  , and  this  shows  total  surrender  and  humility  on his  part. . Secondly , he  should  be  ready  to  do  Seva  to  the  Guru  whom  he  loves  and  respects. . He should  receive  the  knowledge  imparted  exactly  as  it  is  given    by  the  Guru  without  any  distortions  . . Paripreshnena  ,  asking  meaningful  questions  relevant  to  the  subject  of  enquiry  on  Self  - knowledge  by  the  student  is  important. . A  student  should  not  ask  stupid  questions  out  of  curiosity  or  about  worldly  matters  . We  have  seen  in  the  first  chapter  ,while   Arjuna  was  pouring  out  his  grief  , the  Lord  did  not  start  His  discourse  . It  was  only  in the  second  chapter  , when  Arjuna  approached  the  Lord  as  a  disciple   and  surrendered  and  asked  for  knowledge  that  the  Lord  taught  the  Gita  to  him  .

                 A  few  more  fine  attunements  are  needed  by  the  student  when  he has  approached  the Guru.  He  should  have  complete  faith  , shraddha  , in the  validity  of  the  scriptures   as  pramana,  faith in the  existence  of  God  , faith  in  the  Guru's  ability  to  impart  this  knowledge  and  lastly  he  should  have  faith  in  his  own  ability  to  understand  and  gain  this  knowledge  . . The  Lord  says  "  shraddhavan  labathe  jnanam. "  .  " Faith  in  the  greatness  of  the  Guru  could  be  the  saving  Grace  for  one  who has  no  faith  in the  existence  of  God  ,   the  scriptures or    himself " says  Adi  Sankara  .The  student  must  be  ready  to  carry  out  the  wishes  of  the  Guru   and    to  act  on  what  he  has  understood.   Gaining  Self  - knowledge  involves  preparing  one's  mind  through  spiritual  practices  and  thereafter  through  sravana,  manana  and  nidhidhyasana  , one  gains  this  knowledge. . Lastly  , it  also  becomes  important  for  the  disciple    to  learn  to  control  his  senses  ,so that  he  can  focus  his  mind  on the goal  of  Self - Realisation.

to be  continued....

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